Chicago celebrates Puerto Rican culture with parade, festival


Salsa, merengue and reggaeton new music blasted from cars and trucks driving about Humboldt Park Saturday afternoon as crimson, white and blue flags with a solitary star blew in the breeze, some out of car or truck windows and sunroofs and others held by persons on the sidewalk.

In the vicinity of the south conclusion of Humboldt Park, on West Division Street and North California Avenue, folks lined up along the road, a lot of wearing Puerto Rican flag shirts or attire as they viewed the 44th Yearly Puerto Rican People’s Working day Parade get to its end. Men and women shouted, waved and danced as automobiles, bicyclists and men and women passed by, blasting tunes and waving more flags.

The Puerto Rican Pageant began Thursday and operates by way of Sunday, with reside music and carnival rides in a shut off portion of the southeast corner of Humboldt Park. On Saturday afternoon, the parade included to the festivities as Puerto Ricans in Chicago displayed their satisfaction and pleasure in their heritage.

Vendors offered meals like savory and sweet empanadas, papas rellenos — potato balls stuffed with seasoned ground beef — tostones, bichos — grilled pork or hen skewers with onion, bell pepper and tomato — and jugo de parcha or passion fruit juice. Other suppliers together the park bought flags, T-shirts, hats, and other add-ons, most with the Puerto Rican flag or its hues.

Dasani Saldana, 13, whose household is from Puerto Rico, wrapped a huge Puerto Rican flag all-around her back again like a cape as she viewed the parade with her close friend, her mother and her mom’s friend. It was her third parade, but the next just one she remembers for the reason that she was a newborn when her mom took her to her very first parade, Saldana reported.

She said she enjoys the meals, listening to her Spanish language and seeing other Puerto Ricans in her neighborhood celebrating their culture with each other at the Puerto Rican Competition and parade.

“We can present in which we are from,” Saldana said. “What Puerto Rico is about.”

Soon after the parade, on a residential road south of the park, Edras Andujar grilled pork bichos to market, as individuals sat close to him on lawn chars, chatting and ingesting. Individuals danced alongside to merengue waiting for the food to complete cooking.

Jalesa Trotman took her daughter and nieces to the parade. It was her next time likely to the pageant, a easy walking length from her house, she mentioned.

“We like it mainly because the community just will come out and you see most people jointly and having a great time. It’s wonderful,” Trotman stated. “Compared to all the terrible things you hear about Chicago, it’s like just one large unity function for everyone.”

Trotman’s grandparents are Puerto Rican and Mexican, and when she hasn’t been to the island but, she hopes to go to Puerto Rico sometime. Going to the competition, she stated feels welcome into her tradition, and sees it as an option to teach her daughter about their heritage and track record.

She explained getting her daughter and nieces arrive out and see and participate in with other little ones that seem like them and share their lifestyle is a excellent way for them to master about themselves.

“I come to feel like little ones study via practical experience,” she reported. “So in purchase for them to realize what they are and who they are about and what they can maybe do with their daily life, they have to be exposed to it.”

Iris Bellido moved to the U.S. from Puerto Rico when she was 1, and was raised in Humboldt Park. She’s absent to the pageant just about every single yr considering the fact that she was a boy or girl, she stated.

“Thank God that at last COVID is above and we were being in a position to rejoice it and experience back to regular,” she explained. “And celebrate it the way we normally do. So that was a aid.”

As she waited in line to get into the pageant, Bellido shown the several issues she enjoys about the competition and about her society — the food, how persons gown, the colors, the flag, the new music, specially bomba y plena.

Bomba and Plena are standard audio variations that mirror the African heritage of Puerto Rico.

“Puerto Ricans are loud folks that they really like music and they love to dance,” Bellido stated with a giggle. “And…the ladies are identified for their significant butt and curly hair. And they just appreciate to have entertaining, pay attention to songs, dance. And consume Puerto Rican food stuff.”

Carmen Malave was at the parade with her youngest daughter, Heather Rodriguez and her 3 granddaughters, Ruby, 7, Naya, 8, and Sonie, 9. All a few ladies wore Puerto Rican flag attire.

Malave stated she utilized to convey her have three children to the parade when they have been younger.

“Growing up in Humboldt Park, remaining a one mom, boosting three youngsters, it is not easy,” she stated. “But, you know, I did it and even however they are more mature I’m nonetheless there.”

Now she’s having fun with viewing them commence their have families and observing them share the society with their children.

It had been a although due to the fact they had participated in the festivities, as they averted some of the violence in the place, Rodriguez reported, as her daughter Ruby hugged her.

“This is her to start with time listed here, actually,” Rodriguez said of her daughter. “That’s why I required to carry her, just to experience her culture, get a minimal understanding of wherever she arrives from. She’s loving it. She can not halt dancing.”


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